One of the most difficult challenges for all people is to pray at the most difficult times. It is easier said than done. Here is where we are all faced with a choice to stand our ground in faith or to give way to what is before us staring and seemingly putting our faith in God on hold. What should be the appropriate action? How do we move our eyes to God at the most difficult times of our life? How does someone pray right? Matt 21:22 states, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (NIV) Would this apply in the most difficult times as well? I believe so!
Let me give you two specific examples of how do we pray at the most difficult times. In the life of King Hezekiah in 2 Kings 20:1-5, “In those days Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. The prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to him and said, "This is what the LORD says: Put your house in order, because you are going to die; you will not recover." Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the LORD, "Remember, O LORD, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes." And Hezekiah wept bitterly. Before Isaiah had left the middle court, the word of the LORD came to him: "Go back and tell Hezekiah, the leader of my people, 'This is what the LORD, the God of your father David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears; I will heal you.” (NIV)
In the above example, you could notice that Prophet Isaiah told the king that he will die. However, the response of the king was not of panic but to pray according to his right standing in God. He humbled himself by directly praying to God and Him alone. No one else was involved, just him and God. Therefore, this must be the pattern of how we must respond in any life and death situation. No words of men must have the final say. Let God be the final say of what should happen in our lives. But you need to be sure that your standing with God merits His attention. Only those who have a clean hands and pure heart are what the Lord hears. We need to make sure of this in our lives.
The next example is Paul’s prayer in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, “To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (NIV)
Whoa! What Paul was suffering was to keep him from being conceited. So in other words, his suffering was for his own good! Paul’s response to his suffering was to pray to God and seek his healing or relief from it yet God spoke to him and gave him encouragement not healing. Instead of healing, God gave Paul his grace to sustain him in all his sufferings. After he fully understood God’s plan, he began to have a different view of life and towards his suffering. He began to become filled with delight that although he was in that state yet he was glad that God was with him all the way through it. You see, for Paul nothing was more important than God’s grace and presence even at the worst of times. He does not mind them as long as God’s abiding grace sustains him. That is why Paul declared the most profound statement that anybody could declare in the midst of difficult times: “…Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.”
The two major lessons we could glean from these prayers that are applicable to us today: In Hezekiah’s prayer, God heard his prayer with a humble plea and gave him an extension of fifteen years; in Paul’s prayer, God heard his prayer and gave him his grace for each day he lives. But the most important lesson is this: God hears and God answers accordingly to our individual circumstances. Therefore, let us always keep our eyes totally focus on God’s plan for your life not on what you are going through at the moment. Be reminded that as long as you have breath no matter how faint, they could still reach God’s ears when you pray from a humble heart and a believing heart.
Let’s talk again!